“Pitch Perfect 2” knows what queer women like

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Sequels can be tricky. With a few notable exceptions  like Aliens or Terminator 2, they aren’t as good as the first film. Comedy sequels especially suffer, cursed to re-hash the same gags and plot points that made the first film successful. I’m still suffering PTSD from Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. I was worried that Pitch Perfect 2 wouldn’t be as good as its predecessor…and it isn’t. It’s better.

Pitch Perfect 2 brings everything we love about the first installment and amps it up. The musical numbers are killer, the jokes are sharp and witty, and the Bellas are as winning as ever. If that’s not enough reason to see it, the film is written and directed by women: Kay Cannon (30 Rock) returns as the writer and producer/actress Elizabeth Banks steps behind the camera in her first directing gig.

It’s been three years since we last saw the Barden Bellas, and the film picks up in Beca’s (Anna Kendrick) senior year. After Fat Amy accidentally flashes the President in a disastrous Kennedy Center performance, the Bellas are disgraced and suspended. Their only hope of redemption is winning the World Championships of a capella, and going up against their rivals, German super group Das Sound Machine. Beca struggles to balance her Bella obligations with her music studio internship, and the group welcomes freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld), whose mother was a famous Bella.

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We also get to catch up with resident lez Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean), who gets some killer solos in this film. Seriously, this woman’s voice is magic. Cynthia is still charming and flirty, and totally nails that butch swagger. There’s a brief mention of her getting married in Maine, but we don’t meet her fiancée or learn that much more about it (or her gambling addiction). Despite being engaged, she’s still flirting with Stacie (Alexis Knapp) and I could have done without her trying to feel up her friend on a camping trip. Can we put the whole “predatory lesbian” trope to rest already?

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BeChloe (or as Fat Amy calls them, “Blowie”) fans also get a shout-out in a scene where Chloe (Brittany Snow) tries to proposition Beca for some “experimenting.” You’re welcome, Tumblr. Despite still dating Jesse (Skylar Astin), Beca spends most of the film with Chloe, and they have some relationship drama of their own. We also get to see Beca continually flustered/sexually confused by the Teutonic leader of Das Sound Machine, Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen). 

All that and we get Aubrey (Anna Camp) in khakis and a bandana, which could be a lesbian subplot all on its own.

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But what really makes this film soar is its depictions of female friendships. Like Beca, we keep tuning in because we love spending time with these beautiful weirdos. The chemistry between the Bellas is as strong as ever, and it’s no surprise that these women are friends in real life. This film is heartwarming, hilarious, and totally crushes the Bechdel test. Just don’t forget to bring your plastic cup. After all, you didn’t spend all that time learning “Cups” for nothing, did you?

Pitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters nationwide this Friday.

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